After Fertilizing Your Lawn, When Is it Safe to Let Your Pets on the Lawn
Fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides can be very dangerous and even fatal to pets. Although it is safest to avoid using chemicals dangerous to your pets, it is probably safe to allow your pets on fertilized lawns after the lawn has been watered and 48 hours has passed. However, it is important to always read the directions and use chemicals carefully.
Pets are at high risk for exposure to chemicals on lawns because they are small, close to the ground, and often explore or clean themselves with their mouths.
Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other dangerous chemicals can be tracked into the house, and may be present in neighboring yards and public places. Always look for flags that mark recently fertilized grass, and keep your pets (and children) away.
Symptoms of poisoning include nausea, vomiting, breathing difficulties, twitching, weakness, collapse, irritability and seizures. Call a veterinarian immediately if you believe your pet may be poisoned.
Long-term effects of exposure to chemicals may include birth defects, liver problems, cancer, immune suppression and skeletal problems.
It is safest to avoid using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. There are many natural alternatives, such as corn-gluten meal to kill weeds, beer to kill slugs and baking soda to eliminate fungal diseases.
Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at tolerance.org. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.